They say the wolf that grows bigger and thrives is the one you choose to feed. Lately I’ve been taking care what I ‘feed’. Or to put it another way I’ve been taking care how much I listen to the inner critical voices (the wolf inside of me), lessening the amount of fuel I give to rumination or indulging in negative self-talk.
As a support to myself I’ve been deliberately seeking out situations, people, activities, environments that help me feel uplifted, safe, and positive. I hope that this can become a new habit.
In a bunch of small ways I’m learning to take better care of my ‘consumption’, making small positive acts, often as part of my practice rituals: turning towards uplifting poetry and music, a new super cosy faux-fleecy cushion for relaxing on or short meditation sits (rather than something more firm and ‘formal’), pretty fairy lights and candles around my practice space, warm clothes for savasana with as many blankets as I might need to get comfy and feel more able to rest.
But it’s not all about self-soothing. And it doesn’t mean that I’m turning away from the challenges and keeping in my comfort zone. Rather the opposite. By feeling like I’m recruiting all the support I can (from others and from inside myself) I feel steadier and I can step forward more confidently.
For example I’ve had a fantastic email conversation over the past few months with a yoga mentor who offers this awesome balance of pragmatism (and difficult questions) with a whole load of love and encouragement. I feel I can do anything with this support 🙂 So I’ve been inspired to do a lot of self-reflection and try some new ways — of thinking, practising and teaching. Phew. Tough work, but it feels good and right.
“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”Rumi
Steadiness carries me forward into places of change, but it also allows me to pause mid-step and look back and see how far I’ve already come. All those little steps adding up. Now I find myself in a place of greater awareness and capacity, I recognise that there’s always time enough for the rest to unfold. I just need to stay on the ride, stay on the path. Keep my eyes and heart as open as I can. It would be easy to shrink back, to be sure, but all the practice in yoga of being with the discomfort and the unflinching gaze demands more of me than that. And I’m ready.